Response 149987945

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The National Trust for Scotland

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The National Trust for Scotland

Part 4: Key features of the new framework for the public

34. Do you support SEPA having more flexibility in how information is made available to the public?

Comments:
We would prefer that the requirement to consult be retained in legislation. We support a harmonised approach to consultation, as this could help with public understanding of the process, and lead to greater involvement. The trend has been to more, rather than less sharing of information with the public, and for greater empowerment in influencing decisions that affect communities. The harmonisation should therefore be based upon those approaches with the widest reach. The harmonised process should also allow for interested parties to be updated when new information is published. Importantly, the Scottish Government is currently consulting on the secondary legislation for community engagement under the Land Reform Act 2016. This guidance is intended to ensure that land owners and managers “develop co-operative and positive working relationships with local communities” and would apply to “decisions relating to land [by which is also meant heritable property] which could impact on a local community and its economic, environmental, social or cultural opportunities.” http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/03/9042 We would recommend that SEPA draw upon this developing area of engagement to ensure the widest appropriate consultation with communities.